World Surfing Reserves

Jesus Salazar
Publicado: 27 Abril 2021
Última edición: 27 Abril 2021
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A surf ecosystem is more than a wave: it’s the geophysical components, the plants and animals, and the human interactions that make a place special. Protecting surf ecosystems in turn protects marine habitats, maintains the integrity of the wave, and safeguards local livelihoods.

World Surfing Reserves (WSR) act as a model for preserving wave breaks and their surrounding areas by recognizing and protecting key environmental, cultural and economic attributes in coastal communities.


WSRs represent a global network of designated surfing reserves that are managed, implemented, and protected by local communities.  Every year, one new World Surfing Reserve is selected from a competitive pool of applicants by an independent council.


The Bahía de Todos Santos World Surfing Reserve was designated in 2014 and have implemented multiple projects protecting the ecosystems and waves in the region and is an excellent example of how the World Surfing Reserve can protect the coastline.


América del Norte
Escala de aplicación
Arrecifes coralinos
Bosques costeros
Connective infrastructure, networks and corridors
Ecosistema urbano
Ecosistemas de agua dulce
Ecosistemas marinos y costeros
Humedal urbano
Humedales (pantano, turberas)
Marisma salina
Pradera marina
Áreas verdes (parques, jardines, bosque urbano)
Actores locales
Adaptación al cambio climático
Ciencia y investigación
Comunicación y divulgación
Conocimientos tradicionales
Desechos marinos
Fragmentación del hábitat y degradación
Gestión de residuos
Gestión y planificación de áreas protegidas y conservadas
Gobernanza de las áreas protegidas y conservadas
Manejo de cuencas
Manejo espacial de la zona marino-costera
Marco legal y normativo
Medios de vida sostenibles
Mitigación del cambio climático
Poblaciones indígenas
Prevención de erosión
Servicios ecosistémicos
Standards/ certification
Tratamiento de aguas residuales
World Heritage
Pérdida de la biodiversidad
Acidificación de los océanos
Aumento del nivel del mar
Cambio estacional
Mareas altas (tormentas)
Usos conflictivos / impactos acumulativos
Pérdida de ecosistemas
Contaminación (incluida la eutrofización y la basura)
Cosecha insostenible, incluida la sobrepesca
Desarrollo de Infraestructura
Falta de acceso a financiación a largo plazo
Falta de conciencia del público y de los responsables de la toma de decisiones
Deficiente vigilancia y aplicación de la ley
Objectivos de Desarrollo Sostenible
ODS 8 - Trabajo decente y crecimiento económico
ODS 11 - Ciudades y comunidades sostenibles
ODS 12 - Producción y consumo responsables
ODS 13 - Acción por el clima
ODS 14 - Vida submarina
Metas de Aichi
Meta 1: Aumento de la sensibilization sobre la biodiversidad
Meta 2: Valores de biodiversidad integrados
Meta 6: Gestión sostenible de los recursos vivos acuáticos
Meta 8: Reducción de la contaminación
Meta 10: Ecosistemas vulnerables al cambio
Meta 11: Áreas protegidas y conservadas
Meta 14: Los servicios ecosistemicos
Meta 15: Restauración de ecosistemas y resiliencia
Meta 17: Estrategias y planes de acción para la biodiversidad
Meta 18: Conocimiento tradicional
Meta 19: Intercambio de información y conocimiento
Enfoques para el compromiso empresarial
Compromiso directo con asociaciones


El Sauzal De Rodríguez, Baja California, Mexico | USA, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico, Portugal, Australia


The challenges to implementing the World Surfing Reserve and the associated Local Stewardship Plan include long-term funding sources, local capacity, local politics, and the scale of the threats facing the ecosystem.


The beneficiaries include the community of Bahia de Todos Santos and Ensenada, businesses, tourists, surfers, the natural environment, endangered and threatened species, and the surf economy.

¿ Cómo interactúan los building blocks en la solución?

Each building block is essential to the entire project.  It all starts with the Application and Selection Process which selects which region is best equipped to function and implement the tenets of the World Surfing Reserve program.  Throughout the application process, a strong relationship is built between Save The Waves and the local community stakeholders and together the Coalition Building takes shape as alliances are built within the community and with the staff of Save The Waves Coalition.  As the coalition is built, the necessary relationships and identified goals are in place to develop the Stewardship Planning Process as well as to pursue other projects which enhance the character of the World Surfing Reserve such as Surfonomics.  The Surfonomics project and Stewardship Plan form a solid foundation of evidence and management scheme so the World Surfing Reserve can pursue their conservation projects and initiatives.

Impactos positivos

The impacts the World Surfing Reserves program are numerous including the protection of world class waves, the revitilization of the local economy from surf tourism, improvements in water quality and the impacts of plastic pollution, and the protection of the flora and fauna that exist in the reserve.


Bahia de Todos Santos World Surfing Reserve has protected the last intact watershed in the region, helped reduce single-use plastics on the coast, protected surf spots from industrial development and pollution, and ensured beach access for local surfers and visitors among many other accomplishments.


On June 5th, World Environment Day 2018, Jorge Emilio Martinez, a member of the Ensenada City Council, presented a proposal to eliminate the use of plastic bags and disposable utensils in commercial establishments in every town of the municipality of Ensenada. In addition to the Bahia de Todos Santos World Surfing Reserve’s support, this project gathered 100,000 signatures and had the backing of the UN Environment Mexico and several civil society organizations such as Pronatura Noroeste, Terra Peninsular, Pro Esteros,  and Manos al Mar.


On June 17th, the Ensenada City Council approved this historic measure which was implemented January 1st, 2019. With the tireless efforts of members of the Bahia de Todos Santos World Surfing Reserve, the coastline and ocean are looking towards a future free from plastic pollution.

Contribuido por

Trent Hodges Save The Waves Coalition

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